Where did the baby name Cybele come from in 1963?

The character Cybele from the movie "Sundays and Cybele" (1963).
Cybèle from “Sundays and Cybèle

The ancient name Cybele first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in relatively modern times — the 1960s.

  • 1965: 14 baby girls named Cybele
  • 1964: 16 baby girls named Cybele
  • 1963: 15 baby girls named Cybele [debut]
  • 1962: unlisted
  • 1961: unlisted

The variant spelling Cybelle debuted the same year.

Where did they come from?

A 1962 French film called Les dimanches de Ville d’Avray (The Sundays of Ville d’Avray), which was later re-titled for English audiences: Sundays and Cybèle. It won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in April of 1963.

The movie followed an emotionally damaged war veteran named Pierre (played by Hardy Krüger) as he starts an innocent friendship with a neglected schoolgirl named Cybèle (played by 11-year-old Patricia Gozzi). Their relationship “ultimately ignites the suspicion and anger of his friends and neighbors in suburban Paris,” with tragic results.

Cybele was pronounced sih-BELL by the American media at the time. The name ultimately comes from the name of the Greco-Roman mother goddess, Cybele.

What are your thoughts on this name?

Sources: Sundays and Cybele – Wikipedia, Sundays and Cybèle (1962) – The Criterion Collection

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